CSU Whitewater Leadership Experience

Columbus State University's Leadership Institute is taking advantage of the community's new whitewater course to create a unique, engaging leadership development experience.

Eva Cooper

CSU's Leadership Institute now offers an experiential, results-driven, learning-oriented river trip incorporating teamwork, communication and trust — leadership concerns more often addressed in a classroom setting.

The whitewater offering is the latest addition to a full slate of leadership development experiences the university offers, said Eva Cooper, director of leadership and business development for CSU's Leadership Institute.

"We are looking for ways that organizational team members can get out of the office, have a bit of fun, but also learn more about how they can operate more effectively on a day-to-day basis," Cooper said. "These experiences can be tailored to a company's needs to address a full slate of issues."

Columbus and CSU provide a wide array of experiential leadership development opportunities, including:

An Amazing Race-style experience where teams use clues to complete exhilarating challenges on foot and by water

A golf-themed experience led by Mark Immelman, CSU's men's golf coach and a former Division II National Coach of the Year, who uses the driving range and golf course for driving home leadership lessons such as following through to achieve results.

A hands-on experience at Fort Benning where participants immerse themselves in the new-recruit transformation process at the direction of actual drill sergeants.

A cooking collaboration competition guided by local chef Jamie Keating, a member of the United States Culinary Olympic Team.

An opportunity, working with renowned Columbus State conductor Paul Hostetter and CSU's Schwob School of Music String Orchestra, to learn non-verbal communication skills that enhance performance.

Each experience starts and ends with at least one of the Leadership Institute's experts, who regularly facilitate sessions around strategic planning, assessments, leadership development, executive coaching and other related areas, Cooper said.

"The experts take care of the adventures, but typically we discuss issues the client wants addressed, then follow up the experience with lessons learned and provide a framework for better synergy in the workplace," Cooper said.

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Photo: Eva Cooper